Although I have begun the Japan in photography project last year, only this month I launched the daily photo with a short article blog. I plan to cover the entire Japan in my travels, and share with you some of the most exciting and intertesting photos that I take along the way. My articles will contain links to valuable recources online, either for those of you who would like to read more about Japan and its culture, history and so on, but also for those who wish to visit Japan one day. In addition, the vast majority of the published photos of Japan in the daily blog articles, will be available at my store on Fine Art America, as prints, framed prints, posters, iphone or smart phone cases, canvas prints, ands so on. The blog is only the beginning, and I have already put plans into motion on how to expand this area of my creative work as an artist. My photography will be often merged with my Japanese calligraphy art, which, in my opinion, will add a lot of unique touch to each photo. Enjoy!
Below photo shows a Japanese paper umbrella. It was taken in the Crane Hill Peony Garden of the Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura (鶴岡八幡宮).
I wrote this poem last year. I really like it, so I asked my friend to help me with the Chinese translation. I was planning to write a Chinese calligraphy using this text, but I did not have enough time to do so, till now. For me, writing calligraphy is always a journey through time and space. I dive into the classics and masterpieces, and search for proper Chinese character forms, to push my calligraphy skills even further. This text took me approximnately 20 hours of research and studies, including writing several drafts with a ballpen. This is the first copy with the ink and brush, but I am sure it is not the last one.
Buy this artwork in printed form at my store on Fine Art America.
Many thanks to my dear friends, Snow Forest and Terry Chan, for their help with translating and editing of the Chinese text.
"By our rites of worship; latter-day sait views on ritual in scripture, history and practice", is a title of a book edited by Daniel L. Belnap, published by the Religious Studies Center. The reason I am writing a short article about is is because my humble calligraphy work is one of the few illustrations in this book. Last year I had trhe pleasure to be contacted by Ph.D. Michael Ing, who is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Religious Studies, Indiana University. He specializes mainly in Confucianism and Chinese thought. He asked me if I could write a calligraphy work for his book. I was quite thrilled.
Below photo shows calligraphy of the character 禮 in early clerical script, known in Japanese as korei (古隷, lit. ancient clerical).
There is one more publication of his in which you can see my calligraphy art on the book cover, titled *The Dysfunction of Ritual in Early Confucianism*, published by Oxford University Press.
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and reffers to multi-exposure photography. In a nut shell, human eye is able to see about 11 stops of light (a stop of light is a 1 stop of aperture in camera, i.e. set amount of light entering the lens, which is measured in f-stops, or stops of light), whilst camera can only see 3. If you ever tried to take a picture of someone backlit by the sun, you will know that your camera will not be able to expose properly for both your subject and the background, if the amplitude of stops of light between the two is huge. That is where HRD photograqphy comes in.
The above picture was captured by me in Kamakura, Japa. It is the Kenchoji Zen temple. The Photomatix logo is a logo of the HDR program that I am currently trying out, and the free copy is forcing their logo onto the photo. Photomatix comes highly recommended by most of the photographers who specilise in HDR, and after trying it out I can see why. It is absolutely brilliant. Naturally photos have to be further processed in other software, like photoshop, etc. but the HDR base that Photomatix delivers is WAY better than the one offered by photoshop. If you like this photo leave me a comment and share your thougts. I think more HDR photos of Tokyo are coming!
Each language has its own ways of expressing ideas and condensing thoughts or into laconic idioms or phrases. Since Japanese language is based on Chinese writing system, the idiomatic phrases can sometimes be very abstract or poetic. Such phrases are often based on Buddhist philosophy and way of seeing the surrounding world. Some are thousands years old, and thanks to the unique characteristic of Japanese kanji, the way such idioms were written has not changed at all for all those centuries.
The data base of phrases and idioms that I am currently working on, is not just another dictionary of typical Japanese phrases or Japanese idioms. i am carefully selecting each phrase. Also, every single Chinese character is individually linked to my favourite online kanji dictionary, wwwjisho.org (created by Kim Ahlström) which is one of the largest and brilliantly designed interactive kanji dictionaries. Moreover, the readings of the idioms or words that you will find in my dictionary, are given in English and Japanese hiragana. Each of hiragana syllabograms is also linked individually to the Japanese kana database that I have created. This data base consists of handwritten characters, etymology of each syllabogram, and stroke order charts with correct hiragana and katakana stroke order.
As you can imagine, linking all those characters is quite a taxing job for me, I am sure it will not only help those who study Japanese (or Chinese), but also will assist all those of you who are new to the wonderful world of Chinese characters and Japanese kanji, yet are fascinated by its exotic originality, to better understand its mechanics, and how words and ideas are conveyed through Chinese characters. There is also a separate section with Japanese calligraphy jargon explained.
Some of the phrases will be linked to my store with calligraphy art or photography & calligraphy art combined, where you can purchase prints with your favourite phrase, and decorate your home, or offer it as a gift. If you like a particular phrase and want me to write it for you in Japanese calligraphy, then feel free to message me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Errare humanum est, so if you do spot a mistake, or an error in linking, please let me know by mailing me at email@example.com or messaging me on facebook at Ponte Ryuurui or Learn Japanese and Chinese calligraphy
Last but not least, since it is my first post in 2014, I would like to wish you all a happy new year.
I would also like to thank Snow Forest (雪森) for her assistance with selecting some of the idioms and phrases, as well as with determining the correct reading (many idioms have special readings, which are often unknown even to native speakers).
pictured calligraphy: 士魂 - samurai spirit
Ponte Ryuurui (品天龍涙)